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CAA Asks Motorists to Slow Down, Move Over for Tow Truck Drivers

May 14, 2024 9:20 AM | News


CAA Tow Truck

To help keep tow operators safe, CAA Manitoba is using National Slow Down Move Over Day to remind drivers of the law, its purpose and penalties for non-compliance. (CNW GROUP / CAA MANITOBA)

When you see a tow truck on the side of the road, slow down and move over.

That’s the message CAA Manitoba wants to convey to the public as part of National Slow Down Move Over Day on May 14.

A recent survey by the automobile association revealed 85 percent of drivers claim they are aware of the SDMO law – however, only 41 percent have a clear understanding of its definition.

“This data shows us that there is a big divide and misunderstanding between the law in theory and the law in practice,” said Ewald Friesen, manager of government and community relations CAA Manitoba.

“Lack of understanding of the Slow Down Move Over law poses a significant safety risk for tow truck operators and emergency vehicles on the province’s roads.”

The survey also found that one-third of drivers (30 percent) confuse the SDMO law with the one that requires drivers to give emergency vehicles the right of way and clear passage when stopped on the side of the road.

CAA says more than 100 tow truck drivers have been killed across North America in the last decade after being struck by oncoming traffic while helping stranded motorists.

In Manitoba, the law requires drivers to slow down when a vehicle is working along the roadside. If the posted speed limit is less than 80 km/h, drivers are required to slow down to 40 km/h. If the posted speed limit is 80 km/h or higher, drivers are required to slow down to 60 km/h.

The online survey was conducted between October 26 and November 6, 2023 of 758 Manitoba drivers aged 18-75 years. Based on the sample size and the confidence level (95 percent), the margin of error for this study was +/- 3 percent.


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